April 21, 2016 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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Apr. 21, 2016

BLOOMBERG

President Obama said that the U.S. would help Persian Gulf Arab states wary of rising Iranian influence in the Mideast to improve their military capabilities and adapt their economies to lower oil prices.

Mario Draghi called for critics of European Central Bank policy to give its unprecedented stimulus measures time to work, and urged governments to help.

Jobless claims unexpectedly decreased to the lowest level since 1973, indicating the U.S. labor market remains a pillar of support in the world’s largest economy. New applications for unemployment benefits fell by 6,000 to 247,000 in the week ended April 16.

Only 54 percent of women defined as millennials have a retirement savings account, compared with 67 percent of men, according to a survey

AP Top Stories

The last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on Thursday urged the West to stop isolating Russia and take a more “constructive” approach in response to President Vladimir Putin’s moves towards normalizing relations.

President Rafael Correa announced that he is raising sales taxes and will charge a one-time levy on millionaires to rebuild cities devastated by Ecuador’s worst earthquake in decades.

Federal agents have seized a ton of cocaine and seven tons of marijuana smuggled through a clandestine tunnel stretching 870-yards-long and half mile beneath the U.S.-Mexico border, the longest one yet unearthed in California, authorities said on Wednesday.

Pointing to stronger China-U.S. cooperation on North Korea, a U.S. envoy said Thursday the two nations are united in their opposition to the North’s nuclear tests and worked together to develop the tough sanctions imposed in March.

An explosion ripped through a petrochemical plant on the southern coast of the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday, killing three people, injuring dozens and sending a toxin-filled cloud into the air.

Ethiopian troops have crossed into South Sudan in search of children abducted by armed men from across the border last week, a government spokesman said Wednesday.

The grandchildren of one of the earliest Jewish victims of the Nazis are laying claim to a jewel of Israel’s top museum: the worlds oldest illustrated Passover manuscript.

El Salvador on Wednesday deployed a new, heavily armed elite force of soldiers and police to hunt down gangs that have turned the country into one of the world’s deadliest.

China will encourage ships flying its flag to take the Northwest Passage via the Arctic Ocean, a route opened up by global warming, to cut travel times between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. For example, the journey from Shanghai to Hamburg via the Arctic route is 2,800 nautical miles shorter than going by the Suez Canal.

The death toll from a powerful blast at a petrochemical plant in Mexico has risen to 13, and the final toll is feared to be higher still, an official said Thursday.

The UN refugee agency said on Wednesday it feared around 500 migrants from Africa had drowned in the Mediterranean, in what could be one of the worst tragedies since the start of the refugee crisis in Europe.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that almost $2 billion in frozen Iranian assets must be turned over to American families of people killed in the 1983 bombing of a U.S. Marine Corps barracks in Beirut and other attacks blamed on Iran.

Workers are making emergency repairs to a broken sewer line that’s spewing about 1 million gallons of wastewater per day into a Mississippi River tributary in Memphis. This is the third sewage spill in Memphis in the past three weeks.

Ancient inscribed stone blocks containing information about Egypt’s long-lost and first female pharaoh Queen Hatshepsut – who ruled from 1473 B.C. to 1458 B.C. – have been uncovered on Egypt’s Elphantine Island.

Canada’s Liberal government will introduce a law in spring 2017 to legalize recreational marijuana, it said on Wednesday, fulfilling an election pledge and following several U.S. states in permitting easy access to the drug.

Billionaire investor George Soros said China’s debt-fueled economy resembles the U.S. in 2007-08, before credit markets seized up and spurred a global recession.

BBC

The largest aid convoy so far in Syria has reached a besieged rebel-held town in the center of the country. Sixty-five lorries are delivering food and medicine to about 120,000 civilians in and around Rastan, in Homs province.

The flame for the Olympic Games in Brazil has been lit in southern Greece.

US politicians are considering new legislation that would allow authorities to intercept or shut down drones that get too close to airports.

Turkey’s highest appeals court has overturned the convictions of 275 people, including senior military officers, accused of plotting a coup.

WND

A new study from the Brennan Center for Justice reveals the murder rate rose by more than 13 percent in the 25 biggest cities in America in 2015 – and the common denominator among the three cities that “account for more than half” this hike is they’re run by Democrats who impose hefty gun controls on the populace.

Cash-strapped Islamic State terror group has been killing its injured fighters so that their organs can be extracted and sold on the black market abroad, according to media reports.

A Georgia pastor has filed a federal lawsuit alleging he was fired from the state’s Department of Public Health one day after handing over sermons at the agency’s request.


Top News – 4/21/2016

Being human is so last year, the next frontier is trans-speciesism according to these new books
There are plenty of people out there who suffer from species dysphoria these days. They feel they are a non-human species trapped in a human body, rather along the lines in which transgender people feel gender dysphoria. We may just be at the start of a major new liberation movement.

Trump, Cruz, Kasich seek to win over Republican leaders at party meeting
Front-runner Donald Trump sent envoys and Ted Cruz and John Kasich appeared at a Republican National Committee meeting on Wednesday at an oceanside resort in Florida where elected party leaders from across the country are holding three days of talks focused mostly on their upcoming presidential convention in Cleveland.

Netanyahu to Putin: Golan Heights is a red line, must remain a part of Israel
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday he had arrived to Moscow to discuss closer military coordination to avoid incidents between Israel and Russia, which launched a military operation in support of Syria… At the start of the talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Netanyahu said that the Golan Heights is a “red line” for Israel and it must remain a part of it.

Internal campaign study shows Trump likely to sweep convention
Study conducted by Trump campaign following victory in New York shows Trump likely to secure nomination on first ballot.

More than 100 feared dead in India heat wave
More than 100 people are feared dead in India in an early-summer heat wave which forced schools to close and halted outdoor work like construction, government officials said on Thursday. Neighboring Pakistan, which suffered its hottest spell in decades last year, plans to open 500 response centers to provide shelter and cold water to people if a heat-wave warning is issued, a government official said.

Russia warns U.S. over naval incident as NATO tensions laid bare
Russia accused the United States on Wednesday of intimidation by sailing a U.S. naval destroyer close to Russia’s border in the Baltics and warned that the Russian military would respond with “all necessary measures” to any future incidents. …Moscow’s ambassador to NATO said the April 11 maritime incident showed there could be no improvement in ties until the U.S.-led alliance withdrew from Russia’s borders.

IDF carries out major exercise in Golan Heights
The IDF completed a large-scale military exercise in the Golan Heights on Wednesday that simulated a conflict with armed groups in Syria. The unannounced exercise began four days ago at the behest of IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot. It included drills against terror attacks on Golan Heights communities…

New Elizabethkingia cluster found in Illinois
A new cluster of Elizabethkingia infection, previously rarely seen in humans, has been found in Illinois, health officials said Wednesday. Testing by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the Elizabethkingia anophelis infection in 10 Illinois residents… Six of those individuals have died.

Japan faces fresh earthquake panic as 6.1 magnitude tremor hits coast near Fukushima nuclear plant
Japan was plunged into fresh panic today as a 6.1 magnitude tremor hit the northern coast – the third major earthquake within a week. The tremors struck near the northern island on Honshu around 60 miles southeast on Sendai. To the dismay of rattled survivors, the latest quake happened close to the site of the Fukushima nuclear disaster – which saw 15,000 killed in March 2011.

Russia Bolsters Its Submarine Fleet, and Tensions With U.S. Rise
Russian attack submarines, the most in two decades, are prowling the coastlines of Scandinavia and Scotland, the Mediterranean Sea and the North Atlantic in what Western military officials say is a significantly increased presence aimed at contesting American and NATO undersea dominance.

Syria conflict: ‘Largest ever’ siege evacuations carried out
Relief agencies evacuated 500 wounded people from four besieged Syrian towns, in what has been described as the largest such operation so far in the five-year conflict. Half were brought out from towns blockaded by pro-government forces, and half from towns blocked off by rebels. A UN chief in Syria said he had been told the operation had been successfully carried out.

El Salvador unveils new military force to fight gangs
The government of El Salvador has deployed a new heavily armed unit to fight criminal gangs in rural areas. The 1000-strong special force is equipped with helicopters, armoured cars and assault weapons. Officials say it will target gang leaders who left the cities because of a government crackdown.

Hundreds of Palestinians march in support of Jerusalem bus bombing suspect
A mass demonstration took place on Wednesday as hundreds marched to the yard near the house of the family of the Palestinian teenager suspected of carrying out Monday’s Jerusalem bus bombing in a show of support for the young martyr. …A review of Abu Srour’s social media profiles revealed that the Palestinian teenager was a great fan of The Palestinian Islamist movement, Hamas.

UK student union elects anti-Israel president, argues against marking Holocaust Day
Britain’s National Union of Students (NUS) elected a new president who has been criticized for her anti-Israel views, and argued against an amendment to commemorate the Holocaust on campuses on the same day, British media reported on Wednesday. Malia Bouattia, NUS’s first black Muslim woman president, has been heavily chastised for her controversial opinions.

Some Austrians celebrated 4/20 by eating Hitler’s favorite dish
Although many people across the globe traditionally choose celebrate April 20th in a quite greener fashion, the date also marks Adolf Hitler’s birthday, with some citizens and restaurants in Austria marking the day by serving up Hitler’s favorite food, Vice News reported on Thursday. …Many Austrians, proud of their association to the genocidal mastermind who was born in Austria, took to social media to brag about their 4/20 feast.

NATO security chiefs warn of ISIS plan for nuclear attack on Europe
Islamic State terrorists are plotting to carry out biological and nuclear attack on Europe warned NATO security experts on Wednesday according to reports by the Telegraph. NATO security chiefs told participants of the Security and Counter Terror Conference in London that there is a ‘justified concern’ that Islamic State militants are actively working to obtain nuclear, radiological and biological materials.

Obama arrives at Gulf summit to allay fears over Iran
US President Barack Obama and Gulf Arab leaders started talks in Riyadh on Thursday at a summit aimed at forging joint action on perceived security threats from Iran and Islamic State… Obama, who arrived on Wednesday, hopes to allay Gulf countries’ fears over Iranian influence and encourage them to douse sectarian tensions in an effort to confront the threat posed by jihadist militants like Islamic State.

China deploying troops along North Korea border
China is deploying troops along its border with North Korea, as Pyongyang could be preparing a fifth nuclear test ahead of its Seventh Party Congress in May.

Israeli general warns of ‘devastating war’ with Hezbollah
A top Israeli military leader on Wednesday issued a stern warning to the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, saying any future war between the two enemies will unleash “devastating” damage on Lebanon

Canada to push for making sale marijuana legal
The Canadian government will introduce legislation next year that would make the sale of marijuana legal, its health minister has said. If enacted, the move would make Canada one of the largest Western countries to allow widespread use of the drug.

Zika threatens TWO BILLION people across the world
More than two billion people are at risk of Zika virus, experts warn, as they reveal a new map that indicates those areas at greatest risk. The southeastern US, including much of Texas to Florida, have ideal conditions for the virus to spread.

Treasury Removes Jackson From $20 Bill, Will Replace Him With Harriet Tubman
Moments ago Politico reported that the U.S. Treasury will announce that it plans to replace former President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill with Harriet Tubman, the sources said. There will also be changes to the $5 bill to depict civil rights era leaders including Marian Anderson, Eleanor Roosevelt and Martin Luther King Jr.

Iran Conducts Space Launch
Iran this week conducted the first launch of a new rocket that the Pentagon views as a key element of Tehran’s effort to build long-range missiles.


Top Headlines – 4/21/2016

  • World stocks gain along with oil, clock ticks down to ECB (Read More)
  • Draghi Expected to Defend ECB in Face of German Criticism (Read More)
  • Trump, Cruz, Kasich seek to win over Republican leaders at party meeting (Read More)
  • Donald Trump Plans to Adopt More-Traditional Campaign Tactics (Read More)
  • Japan, Not Germany, Leads World in Negative-Yield Bonds (Read More)
  • Obama starts talks with Gulf leaders aimed at easing strains (Read More)
  • Soros: China Looks Like the US Before the Crisis (Read More)
  • OPEC Secretary-General Says Cartel May Discuss Oil Freeze at June Meeting (Read More)
  • Obama’s Brexit Intervention Makes Waves in U.K., Ripples in U.S. (Read More)
  • Public Support For TTIP Plunges in US and Germany (Read More)
  • Uber Overtakes Rental Cars Among Business Travelers (Read More)
  • VW To Offer To Buy Back Nearly 500,000 US Diesel Cars  (Read More)
  • Mitsubishi Motors shares slump to record low on mileage cheating scandal (Read More)
  • China’s ‘Zombie’ Steel Mills Fire Up Furnaces, Worsen Global Glut (Read More)
  • EU States Grow Wary As Turkey Presses For Action On Visas Pledge (Read More)
  • Novartis Profit Falls as Blockbuster Cancer Drug Sales Drop (Read More)
  • Greece ‘Could Leave Eurozone’ On Brexit Vote (Read More)
  • Marissa Mayer has only one last job to do at Yahoo (Read More)
  • China Wants Ships To Use Faster Arctic Route Opened By Global Warming (Read More)
  • Hungary Threatens Rebellion Against Brussels Over Forced Migration  (Read More)
  • The Secret Shame of Middle-Class Americans (Read More)

Russia Bolsters Its Submarine Fleet, and Tensions With U.S. Rise

Russia warns U.S. over naval incident as NATO tensions laid bare

NATO and Russia to meet, but grievances remain

Israel slams UNESCO members for ‘erasing’ Jewish ties to Jerusalem

Jewish Man Arrested for Quoting Bible On the Temple Mount

PM: IDF to keep operating in West Bank areas under full PA control

IDF blows up terror tunnel

Seeing no end to power crisis, Gazans turn to solar power

Hamas claims that the 19-year-old Jersualem bus bomber was one of their operatives

Jordanian MPs urge government to recall ambassador to Israel

Israeli general warns of ‘devastating war’ with Hezbollah

Netanyahu heads to Moscow for talks on Syria

Israel helps Arab neighbors in fight against ISIS

Israel says gives Jordan, Egypt intelligence help against Islamic State

Tensions high as Obama seeks allies in Riyadh to fight IS

Boko Haram and ISIS Are Collaborating More, U.S. Military Says

500 Migrants May Have Died in Sinking of Boat in Mediterranean, U.N. Says

Turkey wants EU visa changes by June or migrant deal is off

White House: Obama ‘cleared the air’ with Saudi Arabia

Obama and King Salman of Saudi Arabia Meet, but Deep Rifts Remain

Obama’s chilly reception in Saudi Arabia hints at mutual distrust

German airport’s secret emergency plan was on internet for months: ZDF

France seeks state of emergency extension for Euro 2016

‘Hijab Day’ at Paris university divides opinion

Supreme Court Rules Iran Bank Must Pay for Terrorist Attacks

C.I.A. to Pay Death Benefits to Relatives of Terror Victims

Norway violated mass killer Breivik’s human rights, court rules

China deploying troops along North Korea border

Drug tunnel found in Otay Mesa equipped with rail system, elevator

Cubans fleeing in high numbers despite new diplomatic ties

Protest lodged over secrecy in Clinton email case

News Sites Start Charging Readers to Comment on Articles

Watchdog says press freedom in decline in ‘new era of propaganda’

From Text Neck to Blackberry Thumb: the surprising injuries inflicted by your smartphone

Milwaukee police see promise in high-tech ‘GPS bullets’

Can you become ‘virtually immortal’? A Silicon Valley startup thinks so

Three dead, dozens injured in blast at chemical plant in Mexico

Germany urges Belgium to shut ageing nuclear reactors temporarily because of concerns over safety

Ecuador death toll keeps rising as new jolts cause jitters

6.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Muisne, Ecuador

5.8 magnitude earthquake hits near Namie, Japan

5.8 magnitude earthquake hits in the North Atlantic Ocean

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Port-Olry, Vanuatu

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Ndoi Island, Fiji

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Taron, Papua New Guinea

Small earthquake swarm continues in northern Arizona

Santa Maria volcano in Guatemala erupts to 18,500ft

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 18,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 14,000ft

Kerinci volcano in Indonesia erupts to 14,000ft

Tenggar Caldera in Indonesia erupts to 10,000ft

With Cyclone Fantala, the Indian Ocean experiences its strongest storm on record

San Antonio hailstorm produces nearly $1.4B in damages, insurance group says

Officials keep wary eye on ‘high risk’ dams during Texas floods

India says 330 million people affected by severe drought

Thirsty cities begin to eye water from the Great Lakes

‘Global warming’ has made weather better for most in USA

Mosquito forecast: Wet spring could fuel bug boom and Zika cases

Zika virus: 2.2 billion people in ‘at risk’ areas

Canada to push for making sale marijuana legal

Thousands to puff for legal pot at San Francisco 4/20 party

Bud for Buddy: These People Are Giving Marijuana to Their Pets

Britain issues warning for LGBT travelers visiting North Carolina and Mississippi

ESPN Fires Curt Schilling for Anti-Trans Facebook Post

Target to Allow Transgender People to Use Bathroom of Their Choice

Hustler responds to Utah’s anti-porn resolution by sending free magazines to state legislature

Mexico’s Christians face beatings, forced conversions at hands of hybrid faiths

Exorcism pastor assault claim: ‘It was slap, punch, I’m going to get this demon out of you’

Sun god Apollo presides over final flame rehearsal


47 Percent Of Americans Cannot Even Come Up With $400 To Cover An Emergency Room Visit

One Dollar Bill - Public DomainIf you had to make a sudden visit to the emergency room, would you have enough money to pay for it without selling something or borrowing the funds from somewhere?  Most Americans may not realize this, but this is something that the Federal Reserve has actually been tracking for several years now.  And according to the Fed, an astounding 47 percent of all Americans could not come up with $400 to pay for an emergency room visit without borrowing it or selling something.  Various surveys that I have talked about in the past have found that more than 60 percent of all Americans are living to paycheck to paycheck, but I didn’t realize that things were quite this bad for about half the country.  If you can’t even come up with $400 for an unexpected emergency room visit, then you are just surviving from month to month by the skin of your teeth.  Unfortunately, about half of us are currently in that situation. (Read More….)


Sons of Christian Woman Murdered Because She Refused to Convert to Islam Accept Jesus Christ After Witnessing Mother's Faith

Sons of Christian Woman Murdered Because She Refused to Convert to Islam Accept Jesus Christ After Witnessing Mother’s Faith

Posted on April 21, 2016 by Gospel Herald

The sons of a Christian woman who was martyred for her faith in Ethiopia have embraced Christ after witnessing the faith and courage of their mother.

Read Full Article »


Billy Graham: It's Never Too Late to Turn Back to God

Billy Graham: It’s Never Too Late to Turn Back to God

Posted on April 20, 2016 by Christian Post

Christians should never feel like it’s too late to renew their relationship with God, the Rev. Billy Graham wrote in a recent post.

Read Full Article »


Anne Graham-Lotz: Christians Are So Obsessed With Worldly 'Garbage,' They Lose Blessings God Wants to Give

Anne Graham-Lotz: Christians Are So Obsessed With Worldly ‘Garbage,’ They Lose Blessings God Wants to Give

Posted on April 20, 2016 by Gospel Herald

Evangelist Anne Graham Lotz has encouraged Christians to refrain from being so obsessed with “garbage” in this life that they are unable to see the treasures, blessings and glory God wants to give to his people.

Read Full Article »


‘God Is Gay’: Blasphemous Saturday Night Live Skit Mocks Bakeries That Decline Same-Sex ‘Weddings’

The segment, entitled “God Is a B**b Man,” features comedienne Vanessa Bayer, who plays a small town baker named Beth Walsh.
In the movie trailer parody of the “God’s Not Dead” films, a man enters Walsh’s bakery and requests a wedding cake.

View Article


Key Connections (April 21, 2016)

Welcome back to Key Connections, a new midweek article connecting you to key biblical resources around the web!

How to Help the Broken

In our brokenness, we often feel unseen, unloved, unwanted by God and others…So it is with those who might be hiding in pain around us, or you yourself.

Keeping the Faith in A Faithless Age: the Church as a Moral Minority

The concern of the church is not to know its own mind, but to know and follow the mind of God.

When You Don’t Want to Go to Church

Some say you can worship God at home, but how likely are you to be filled with more of Christ when you’re empty and alone?

Fortune Cookie Theology

“Worry is interest paid on a debt you may not owe.” Do you ever worry?

How to engage on social media like a Christian

“Encourage one another and build one another up,” Paul wrote. All our communication between fellow believers should have this goal in mind.

The post Key Connections (April 21, 2016) appeared first on Unlocking the Bible.


The Daily Discovery (April 21, 2016)

ARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:
(Click title to go to full article)

Be An Exegete – The latest spectacular offering from Adam4D.

Understanding Dispensations – “Our misunderstanding of the unity of the law shows us how common and truly easy it is to base our beliefs on faulty notions passed down to us by man, rather than on the solid teachings of the Word of God. It also demonstrates how far off base we might go very quickly if fail to rightly divide the Word, according to its own dispensational distinctions, as we saw last time from our study of this very significant verse of Scripture…”

Back To The Basics: Apologetics Pt4 – Classical Apologetics – “There are some positive aspects of classical apologetics. It seeks to show that faith and reason are consistent, which is a noble aim and has been of service to countless believers, buttressing their faith. Also the classical approach historically has been at the forefront of the apologetic efforts of the church as the preferred method of many staunch defenders of orthodoxy like Augustine, Hugo Grotius and B.B. Warfield. That said, while I love and respect many who hold to the classical apologetic method, I don’t think that it is the best approach to defending the Christian faith.”

Evolution and a Universe as Young as Humanity – “I love to read and ponder the biblical account of creation. So much makes sense and so much comes into focus only as we understand God as the creator of all that is. As I read the creation account I find myself coming to a series of conclusions about the relationship of man and the world he inhabits: God created the world; God created man; God created the world for man and man for the world. God created the world to be seen and overseen by man. He created time and space so he could insert man into time and space. He created all things so man could exercise dominion over it all and, in that way, reflect glory to the Creator. Creation makes no sense, it is incomplete, without man, without the jewel of creation.”

Demonic Orthodoxy and Dead Faith – “Saying “I love you” to your spouse would ring hollow if you never showed your affection through actions. In the same way, when a person professes faith in Christ yet doesn’t evidence his profession by good works, that faith is rightly suspect. Anyone can say they believe in Christ. But Scripture—and in particular, James’s epistle—is clear that true faith is always proven by good works.”


SERMON:

Headshot_PastorGabe2

Gabe HughesGifts That Differ


VIDEOS:

College Kids Say the Darndest Things: On Identity (Moral Insanity)

The latest dopey Evangelical trend: Star Wars Church.


“All death can do to the believer is deliver him to Jesus.  It brings us into the eternal presence of our Savior.” – John MacArthur


A La Carte (April 21)

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman will soon be on the American $20 bill, so perhaps you should read this quick refresher from Christianity Today. (And, of course, there is Joe Carter’s 9 Things You Should Know about her.)

10 Reasons Pastors Must Be Prayer Warriors

Pastors, please make prayer a crucial part of your ministry. Congregations, please free your pastor from other responsibilities so he can dedicate time to prayer.

Book Tribalism

I think you’ll appreciate the challenge Jim Elliff brings in this little parable.

Drinking Deeply of the Tenderness of Christ

This video is a powerful testimony to the faithfulness of God.

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Your Conscience

“Your conscience can function like a moral version of your nervous system. The guilt that your conscience makes you feel when you sin should lead you to turn from your sin to Jesus. That sense of guilt is for your good. And it is some­thing that God—not your mother or father or anyone else—gave you.” (Excerpted from the new book Conscience)

Should You Use Illustrations from Movies?

Here’s one for preachers to consider.

This Day in 1897. 119 years ago today, A.W. Tozer was born. Tozer was an influential pastor in the Christian & Missionary Alliance and author of The Pursuit of God. *

Timeshares and Manipulation

Ed Welch: “They promise what I want, which is a reasonable vacation, in a nice place, where we can take our daughters and their families. Sometimes I merely want that. At those times I am in my right mind. Other times I really need it, well I almost need it. At those times I go into a hypnotic trance, induced by the voice of one who tells me everything I want to hear.”

Something Rotten in the Local Church

Lore Ferguson says, “As humans we can be tempted to respond in a few different ways to conflict within the local church. Philippians 4:1-9 has a clear pathway for how Christians walk through conflict.”

Piper

This is a very serious act of treason: when you love other things more than you love God. —John Piper


Links I like

Links I like

Kindle deals for Christian readers

Something Rotten in the Local Church

Lore Wilbert:

In the midst of conflict within the local church the first thing we need to understand is that we are never promised a clean, unspotted, unblemished church (Ephesians 5:27). The bible repeatedly makes the case that the local church on earth will be broken and blemished until Christ presents us clean and spotless.

Therefore, when we encounter brokenness in the local church our response is not to run the other direction, complain, or grow angry at the institution. If we are Christians, then we believe the bible, and the bible says we are imperfect. The crux for the Christian is how we respond, then, to the imperfect church family of which we are a part.

Can Your Theology Handle the book of Lamentations?

Erik Raymond:

You may not articulate it in the words, “I’m sorry that my God is like this.” However, there is some indication that the sharp edges of the character of God are better ignored, diluted, or otherwise recast so as to make his actions more acceptable. Don’t misunderstand, I am not talking primarily to liberals here but rather to evangelicals. Mr. or Mrs. card carrying evangelical, are you quietly ashamed of some of God’s tirades of judgment in the Old Testament?

Can your theology handle a book like Lamentations?

When God Chased Me

Garrett Kell:

t was early in my junior year at Virginia Tech, and everywhere I turned it felt like God was following me.

It all began a few months before, when a friend talked to me about Jesus at a Halloween party. Since that night, I couldn’t shake his words. I believed God was real, but I wasn’t ready to surrender my life of dating, drinking, and drugs. Yet I couldn’t escape the sneaking suspicion my friend had told me the truth.

How I Organize My Library

I like Mike’s organizational style.

9 Reasons to Prioritize One-on-One Discipleship

Matt Rogers:

Over the years, the gap between the mission of disciple-making and the actual practice of most Christians grew wider and wider. Many knew they should be making disciples and wanted to do so, but they simply didn’t know how.

I’m convinced that a return to the practice of one-on-one, life-on-life discipleship is one of the most critical needs for today’s church.

A Pastor Looks Forward at 50

Derrick Lynch:

I was in my 20’s the last time I experienced anything like this.  Like most folks, during that time I transitioned from student to worker, single to married, and carefree young adult to responsible father.  I put my childhood behind me and stepped into a lifestyle that would define my life for the next 25+ years.  It’s the only adult life I have ever known.



Check Out

Blogs

A Letter to My Wife After Four Years of Seminary | Adam Parker, Bring the Books
“You have died to yourself for the sake of me, for the sake of our children, for the sake of the Lord’s call on our family and on our lives. You have a level of honesty and integrity that I hope to aspire to. In a matter of days I will be receiving my Master of Divinity degree, and we will prepare to go to the church where God would have us serve. But you deserve an award that is more prestigious, more honorable, and that conveys my gratitude.”

Free E-Book: “What Is Biblical Theology?” by James Hamilton | Crossway
“Written by James M. Hamilton Jr., author of God’s Glory in Salvation through Judgment, this book will help you understand Scripture’s unified message and find your place in the great story of redemption.”

Preaching and Preachers Podcast | Dr. Jason K. Allen
“Episode #1: On this episode of Preaching and Preachers, Dr. Timothy George and Dr. Christian George join me in discussing four great preachers throughout church history.”

I Promise… | Nick Batzig, The Christward Collective
“A few months ago, I had the privilege of meeting with a young couple in our congregation in order to choose vows for their wedding. We decided to look at some historic Protestant marriage vows. Ultimately, we ended up with a combination of the marriage vows in the Directory of Public Worship and the vows of the Christian Reformed Church–together with some personal additions. Here are the vows we decided on:”

Listen to the Little Guy Too | Jared C. Wilson, TGC
“We are obsessed with bigger, better, faster. We define success according to quantity and presentation. We reckon churches increasing in size as effective. And so our heroes are the big church guys. They speak at the conferences, they publish the books, they exert the influence. But the guys at the ‘little churches’ have just as much, if not more, to teach us about how to shepherd and how to disciple.”

A Mother’s Prayer | Marine Family Network
As the father of a Marine Corps recruit about to enter “The Crucible” this poem resonated deeply with me.

Kindle Deals

For your non-Kindle book buying needs please consider using Reformation Heritage Books in the USA and Reformed Book Services in Canada. Good value prices and shipping.


Pastors in the Classics: Timeless Lessons on Life and Ministry from World Literature by Leland Ryken, Philip Ryken, and Todd Wilson ($1.99)


The Measure of a Man by Gene A. Getz ($1.99)


The Gospel-Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World by Michael Horton ($2.99)


Helps for Counselors: A mini-manual for Christian Counseling by Jay E. Adams ($0.99)


Rick Perry: U.S. ‘Not In A War’ With Muslims

Posted: 21 Apr 2016 08:52 AM PDT

Rick Perry is frustrated with political rhetoric that he sees as discriminatory toward Muslims, and says he “owes it to America” to share a different message. “The…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

29 Protocols for Engaging in Deliverance Ministry

Posted: 21 Apr 2016 08:45 AM PDT

(Jennifer Leclaire) At Awakening House of Prayer, I’ve been doing a series on deliverance ministry. Part of that training includes protocols for casting out demons. Before you engage…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

Prophetic Word: After Azusa Now

Posted: 21 Apr 2016 08:42 AM PDT

(Lisa Great) The shift is taking place, many are feeling the change in the atmosphere, as though momentum has turned in favor of the advancing kingdom of…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DAYS OF LOT: Transgender Movement Gaining Steam Across America

Posted: 21 Apr 2016 08:37 AM PDT

(Dr. Michael Brown) Within a 48-hour period this week, a Federal court ruled that a school could not require children to use the bathroom that corresponds to…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

China Test Fires Nuclear Missile’ Capable of Destroying London in 30 Minutes

Posted: 21 Apr 2016 08:33 AM PDT

China has allegedly tested a weapon of mass destruction weapon capable of hitting London and other major European or American cities in just 30 minutes. The People’s…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Netanyahu Warns Putin Golan Heights “Will Remain Under Israeli Sovereignty.”

Posted: 21 Apr 2016 08:29 AM PDT

Prime Minister Netanyahu travelled to Moscow to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin Thursday, their meeting focused on Russia’s military coordination with Israel, Russian arms sales to…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Obama Seeks Meeting With Iranian President

Posted: 21 Apr 2016 08:26 AM PDT

President Barack Obama has sent two letters to senior Iranian leaders in recent months requesting a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, according to Persian language reports…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Over 2,000 homes damaged and numerous birds killed by orange-sized hailstones in India

Posted: 21 Apr 2016 07:04 AM PDT

Over 2,000 houses and other facilities with roofs of tin and corrugated sheets were damaged in the thunderstorms and torrential rains that hit many parts of Manipur,…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Giant Oarfish Surfaces after Japanese Earthquake

Posted: 21 Apr 2016 06:52 AM PDT

This giant oarfish measures a massive five metres (16ft) long – almost three times to height of the fisherman who landed the catch. And the so-called “earthquake…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Arab League to Hold Emergency Meeting Over Netanyahu’s Remarks

Posted: 21 Apr 2016 06:46 AM PDT

The Council of the Arab League will hold on Thursday an extraordinary meeting to discuss Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks about the Golan Heights, local media reported. The Council…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

First Signs of Recession Seen in US Macro Data

Posted: 21 Apr 2016 06:40 AM PDT

The US labor market has softened throughout February and March and the private sector has struggled amidst falling profits, and several industries, including energy, utilities, financial services…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

UK issues travel warning about anti-LGBT laws in U.S. states

Posted: 21 Apr 2016 06:35 AM PDT

North Carolina and Mississippi’s controversial new laws affecting LGBT rights are already threatening to cost the U.S. states millions in lost business and tourism. That situation could…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Zika Virus Threatens TWO BILLION people across the world

Posted: 21 Apr 2016 06:33 AM PDT

More than two billion people are at risk of Zika virus, experts warn, as they reveal a new map that indicates those areas at greatest risk. The…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

‘Hijab Day’ Comes To Paris University

Posted: 21 Apr 2016 06:27 AM PDT

Students at an elite Paris university sparked fierce debate Wednesday by inviting classmates to wear the Muslim veil for a day in a bid to “demystify” a…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Could The Northwest Be Next With back-to-back earthquakes?

Posted: 21 Apr 2016 06:25 AM PDT

Talk about interesting (and spooky) timing. In a matter of a few days, a series of deadly earthquakes hit Japan and Ecuador, and New Yorker writer Kathryn…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Panic Spreads in Japan as tremor hits near Fukushima…

Posted: 21 Apr 2016 06:22 AM PDT

Japan was plunged into fresh panic today as a 6.1 magnitude tremor hit the northern coast – the third major earthquake within a week. The tremors struck…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Unprecedented: Germany asks Belgium to turn off 2 nuclear reactors over safety concerns

Posted: 21 Apr 2016 06:17 AM PDT

Germany has asked Belgium to take two of its nuclear reactors offline, citing safety concerns. The environment minister said doing so would show that Brussels “takes the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Venezuela to ration electricity in power crisis

Posted: 21 Apr 2016 06:14 AM PDT

Recession-wracked Venezuela is to ration electricity in 10 of its most populous and industrialized states, including metropolitan Caracas, the socialist government said. It is the latest drastic…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DAYS OF LOT: New Novel Makes ‘50 Shades’ look like the Bible

Posted: 21 Apr 2016 06:08 AM PDT

If British author L.S. Hilton had her way, her new book “Maestra” would come with a warning label on it. “It would say, ‘THIS IS NOT A…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Total Number of Earthquakes in Japan Exceeds 600 in Just 5 Days

Posted: 21 Apr 2016 05:54 AM PDT

he total number of powerful and minor earthquakes on the Japanese island of Kyushu has exceeded 600 since Thursday’s devastating quake, local media reported. On April 14,…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Hundreds of Hindus Who Persecuted Christians Embracing Jesus Christ after Witnessing Miracles, Healing.

Posted: 21 Apr 2016 05:48 AM PDT

A district in India once known for its extreme persecution of Christians is now hosting massive evangelistic events where hundreds of Hindus and tribal animists are embracing…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

India crippled by extreme weather as 100 million exposed to floods

Posted: 21 Apr 2016 05:43 AM PDT

igh temperatures and a crippling shortage of rainfall in India is forcing schools to close and communities to ration drinking water. In Chennai, the oppressive heat currently…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

ESPN Fires Analyst Curt Schilling Over Anti-Transgender Post

Posted: 21 Apr 2016 05:40 AM PDT

Curt Schilling, an ESPN Major League Baseball analyst, has been terminated by ESPN, the network announced on Wednesday night. Schilling’s termination comes after the former pitcher shared…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Earthquake Rattles Northwest Pennsylvania

Posted: 21 Apr 2016 05:36 AM PDT

A small earthquake has been recorded 68 miles northeast of Youngstown. The Lamont Doherty Cooperative Seismographic Network reported a 2.2 magnitude tremor at around 6:30 a.m. between…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Apocalyptic Drone Footage Shows Giant Cracks In The Earth On Japan’s Southern Island

Posted: 21 Apr 2016 05:32 AM PDT

The drone footage that you are about to see is absolutely jaw-dropping. When I first watched it, I could hardly believe the extent of the devastation that…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Televangelist Paula White Hawks Pushes ‘Resurrection Life Seed” for $1,144

Posted: 21 Apr 2016 05:27 AM PDT

Longtime televangelist and senior Pastor of New Destiny Christian Center in Apopka, Florida, Paula White offered her followers an Easter Sunday deliverance from a spiritual death sentence…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Great Barrier Reef suffering worst coral bleaching in recorded history

Posted: 20 Apr 2016 07:12 PM PDT

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is suffering its worst coral bleaching in recorded history with 93 percent of the World Heritage site affected, scientists said Wednesday, as they…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Leaving the Treasures of Egypt (Part 1 of 3)

Posted: 20 Apr 2016 06:58 PM PDT

(Kelly McDonald Jr) “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DEVELOPING: China Deploys Troops as North Korea Plans Another Nuke Test

Posted: 20 Apr 2016 06:50 PM PDT

Pyongyang threatens to blow-up the world again, preparing for its fifth nuclear test. On Wednesday, China deployed troops along its border with North Korea as Pyongyang prepared…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

How to Respond When Your Faith Is Mocked

Posted: 20 Apr 2016 06:44 PM PDT

(J.Lee Grady) Saturday Night Live launched the careers of some of America’s best-known comedians, including Steve Martin, Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Billy Crystal, Chevy Chase, John Belushi,…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Doctor fired after government hears his sermons

Posted: 20 Apr 2016 06:40 PM PDT

A Georgia pastor has filed a federal lawsuit alleging he was fired from the state’s Department of Public Health one day after handing over sermons at the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Obama moves to change $5, $10 and $20 bills

Posted: 20 Apr 2016 06:35 PM PDT

Harriet Tubman will replace President Andrew Jackson as the face of the $20 bill, and Jackson will be moved to the back of the bill alongside an…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

David Wilkerson’s Mega-Quake and Economic Storm Could be Close

Posted: 20 Apr 2016 06:28 PM PDT

Last week southern Japan was struck with two earthquakes, first on Thursday April 14, a 6.2 magnitude and again early Saturday April 16, a 7.1 under Kumamoto,…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Massive blast at Mexico oil factory injures dozens, hundreds evacuated

Posted: 20 Apr 2016 05:24 PM PDT

Mexican emergency crews are responding to a major fire at a Pemex oil facility in the port city of Coatzacoalcos that started after a powerful explosion. Hundreds…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Major earthquake overdue in California’s Eastern Sierra

Posted: 20 Apr 2016 03:36 PM PDT

Scientists say the Sierra’s eastern front is long overdue for a large earthquake along the California-Nevada line, where a magnitude 7 event expected on average every 30…

Read more at End Time Headlines.


Top Headlines

 21 Injured in Jerusalem Bus Bombing
 Pentecostal Revival Sweeps Parts of West Coast
 Leader of Mosque Offers Building to Church in Need of Worship Space
 Christian Baseball Player Adam LaRoche Walked Away from the Game to Rescue Sex Slaves
 Snoop Dogg Says ‘I’d Rather Have Jesus than Silver and Gold’
 Faith-Based Groups Rush to Help Quake-Stricken Ecuador
 Husband of U.S. Congresswoman Donates Kidney to Save Their Baby Daughter’s Life
 New Study Reveals 9 out of 10 Americans Pray for Healing
 Actor Slams ‘SNL’ ‘God’s Not Dead 2’ Parody Skit as Sacrilegious
 China: Christian Woman Killed by Bulldozer while Protesting Demolition of Church

Opinion

 Pornography: Media Finally Waking up to What Christians Have Warned about for Years
 The Vacation Spot for French Fries Lovers
 FDA Changes Make Abortion Pill Ten Times More Dangerous for Women
 What’s the Deal with a $15 Minimum Wage?
 Why are Philosophy and Science so Often Pitted against Each Other?

Our Time is Short

Read: Recommitting Your Life To God and Jesus Christ – Restoration and Forgiveness With God and Jesus Christ (Updated Version)


What is The Gospel?

God made everything out of nothing, including you and me. His main purpose in creation was to bring him pleasure.

The chief way in which we as humanity do this is through loving, obeying, and enjoying him perfectly.

Instead of this, we have sinned against our loving Creator and acted in high-handed rebellion.

God has vowed that he will righteously and lovingly judge sinners with eternal death.

But God, being merciful, loving, gracious, and just, sent his own son, Jesus Christ, in the likeness of man to live as a man; fulfilling his perfect requirements in the place of sinners; loving, obeying, and enjoying him perfectly.

And further, his son bore the eternal judgment of God upon the cross of Calvary, as he satisfied the eternal anger of God, standing in the place of sinners. God treated Jesus as a sinner, though he was perfectly sinless, that he might declare sinners as perfect.

This glorious transaction occurs as the sinner puts their faith (dependence, trust) in the Lord Jesus Christ as their substitute. God then charges Christ’s perfection to the sinner, and no longer views him as an enemy but instead an adopted son covered in the perfect righteousness of his son.

God furnished proof that this sacrifice was accepted by raising Jesus from the dead.

God will judge the world in righteousness and all of those who are not covered in the righteousness of Christ, depending on him for forgiveness, will be forced to stand on their own to bear the eternal anger of God.

Therefore, all must turn from sin and receive Christ Jesus as Lord.


What Is the Gospel?

There is no greater message to be heard than that which we call the gospel. But as important as that is, it is often given to massive distortions or over simplifications. People think they’re preaching the gospel to you when they tell you, ‘you can have a purpose to your life’, or that ‘you can have meaning to your life’, or that ‘you can have a personal relationship with Jesus.’ All of those things are true, and they’re all important, but they don’t get to the heart of the gospel.

The gospel is called the ‘good news’ because it addresses the most serious problem that you and I have as human beings, and that problem is simply this: God is holy and He is just, and I’m not. And at the end of my life, I’m going to stand before a just and holy God, and I’ll be judged. And I’ll be judged either on the basis of my own righteousness–or lack of it –or the righteousness of another. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus lived a life of perfect righteousness, of perfect obedience to God, not for His own well being but for His people. He has done for me what I couldn’t possibly do for myself. But not only has He lived that life of perfect obedience, He offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice to satisfy the justice and the righteousness of God.

The great misconception in our day is this: that God isn’t concerned to protect His own integrity. He’s a kind of wishy-washy deity, who just waves a wand of forgiveness over everybody. No. For God to forgive you is a very costly matter. It cost the sacrifice of His own Son. So valuable was that sacrifice that God pronounced it valuable by raising Him from the dead – so that Christ died for us, He was raised for our justification. So the gospel is something objective. It is the message of who Jesus is and what He did. And it also has a subjective dimension. How are the benefits of Jesus subjectively appropriated to us? How do I get it? The Bible makes it clear that we are justified not by our works, not by our efforts, not by our deeds, but by faith–and by faith alone. The only way you can receive the benefit of Christ’s life and death is by putting your trust in Him–and in Him alone. You do that, you’re declared just by God, you’re adopted into His family, you’re forgiven of all of your sins, and you have begun your pilgrimage for eternity.


The Gospel In A Nutshell

Now, with regard to this rule of faith—that we may from this point acknowledge what it is which we defend—it is, you must know, that which prescribes the belief that there is one only God, and that He is none other than the Creator of the world, who produced all things out of nothing through His own Word, first of all sent forth; that this Word is called His Son, and, under the name of God, was seen “in diverse manners” by the patriarchs, heard at all times in the prophets, at last brought down by the Spirit and Power of the Father into the Virgin Mary, was made flesh in her womb, and, being born of her, went forth as Jesus Christ; thenceforth He preached the new law and the new promise of the kingdom of heaven, worked miracles; having been crucified, He rose again the third day; (then) having ascended into the heavens, He sat at the right hand of the Father; sent instead of Himself the Power of the Holy Ghost to lead such as believe; will come with glory to take the saints to the enjoyment of everlasting life and of the heavenly promises, and to condemn the wicked to everlasting fire, after the resurrection of both these classes shall have happened, together with the restoration of their flesh. This rule, as it will be proved, was taught by Christ, and raises amongst ourselves no other questions than those which heresies introduce, and which make men heretics.

Tertullian, “On Prescription Against Heretics,” Chapter XIIl


Ravi Zacharias explains the gospel in two minutes:


The Gospel on 5 Fingers

Can you explain the gospel in 30 seconds? In one minute? In five minutes?Here’s one way I have found helpful. The five main components of the gospel can be remembered on 5 fingers of one hand. Here they are:

1) Jesus’ birth
2) Jesus’ life
3) Jesus’ death
4) Jesus’ resurrection
5) Jesus’ ascension

Obviously each point can be elaborated on depending on how much time you have. Here’s the short version:

1) Jesus’ birth – Jesus, God himself, the creator of the universe, the Messiah, became a human being – took on flesh, and was born of a virgin.

2) Jesus’ life – Jesus lived a life of perfect obedience to his Father. Though he was tempted in every way as we are, he never once sinned.

3) Jesus’ death – on the cross, Jesus himself took all our sins and paid for them. God the father counted all our sins to Jesus as if he himself had personally committed them. Then Jesus bore God’s wrath towards sin – the punishment we deserved – as a substitute for us.

4) Jesus’ resurrection – within 3 days, Jesus rose physically from the dead, proving that his sacrifice for sins have been accepted by God, since the punishment for sin was death. Jesus was seen by numerous people after he rose including 500 at one time (1 Corinthians 15).

5) Jesus’ ascension – Jesus ascended physically into heaven where he reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords. And someday he will return to the earth.

That’s the gospel, the good news, and if we believe in Jesus Christ and this good news and call upon him he will save us from our sins and give us eternal life.

That’s a simple way to remember the gospel – five fingers. Even a child can do it. So ask God to give you opportunities to share his good news today.


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

With that brief question Jesus Christ confronted His followers with the most important issue they would ever face. He had spent much time with them and made some bold claims about His identity and authority. Now the time had come for them either to believe or deny His teachings.

Who do you say Jesus is? Your response to Him will determine not only your values and lifestyle, but your eternal destiny as well.

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


Resource Links

CanIKnowGod.com is a website inspired by LifesGreatestQuestion.com, with new content, images, audio and video that will help you understand more about who God is and how to know Him. The site is mobile responsive and has an infinite scroll which makes for a very user-friendly experience. After you indicate a decision on CanIKnowGod.com, you are directed to a page that details what it means to have a new and transformed life through Jesus Christ. There’s even a Facebook page for daily updates, encouragement and scripture sharing.

Look to Jesus
Have you ever felt a little lost and wished there was a quick-start guide to your relationship with God? This is it!

30 Day Next Steps
John Beckett, a leading Christian businessman, has written a series to read over 30 days for new believers.

New Believers Guide
The New Believer’s Guide is a series of articles designed to show you how to walk in the new life Christ has given you— a life of faith and freedom.

Jesus Booklet
Jesus is the Savior of the world. Discover who Jesus is today in this series.

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


The Perseverance (Security) of the Saints

Notice all the Scripture references!

It is not just a handful of texts that teach the perseverance of the saints: the entire gospel sustains and confirms it. The Father has chosen them before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4), ordained them to eternal life (Acts 13:48), to be conformed to the image of his Son (Rom. 8:29). This election stands (Rom. 9:11; Heb. 6:17) and in due time carries with it the calling and justification and glorification (Rom. 8:30). Christ, in whom all the promises of God are Yes and Amen (2 Cor. 1:20), died for those who were given him by the Father (John 17:6, 12) in order that he might give them eternal life and not lose a single one of them (6:40; 17:2); he therefore gives them eternal life and they will never be lost in all eternity; no one will snatch them out of his hand (6:39; 10:28).

The Holy Spirit who regenerates them remains eternally with them (14:16) and seals them for the day of redemption (Eph. 1:13; 4:30). The covenant of grace is firm and confirmed with an oath (Heb. 6:16–18; 13:20), unbreakable like a marriage (Eph. 5:31–32), like a testament (Heb. 9:17), and by virtue of that covenant, God calls his elect. He inscribes the law upon their inmost being, puts his fear in their heart (Heb. 8:10; 10:14ff.), will not let them be tempted beyond their strength (1 Cor. 10:13), confirms and completes the good work he has begun in them (1 Cor. 1:9; Phil. 1:6), and keeps them for the return of Christ to receive the heavenly inheritance (1 Thess. 5:23; 2 Thess. 3:3; 1 Pet. 1:4–5).

In his intercession before the Father, Christ acts in such a way that their faith may not fail (Luke 22:32), that in the world they may be kept from the evil one (John 17:11, 20), that they may be saved for all times (Heb. 7:20), that their sins will be forgiven them (1 John 2:1), and that they may all be where he is to behold his glory (John 17:24). The benefits of Christ, which the Holy Spirit imparts to them, are all irrevocable (Rom. 11:29). Those who are called are also glorified (8:30). Those who are adopted as children are heirs of eternal life (8:17; Gal. 4:7). Those who believe have eternal life already here and now (John 3:16). That life itself, being eternal, cannot be lost. It cannot die since it cannot sin (1 John 3:9). Faith is a firm ground (Heb. 11:1), hope is an anchor (6:19) and does not disappoint us (Rom. 5:5), and love never ends (1 Cor. 13:8).

Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics: Holy Spirit, Church, and New Creation, volume 4 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2008), 270.


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